Northern Rail strikes suspended after a major breakthrough

There have been 47 days of industrial action over the last two years.
There have been 47 days of industrial action over the last two years.

A full Saturday service will run on the Scarborough to Bridlington line later in February for the first time in months after talks between the two sides in the dispute.

After 47 days of strikes, an agreement has been reached in discussion over the role of conductors.

For months, no trains have run between Scarborough and Bridlington on Saturdays, with just two or three replacement bus services. A handful of trains ran between Bridlington and Hull.

A statement from Northern Rail said 'changing a strike timetable back to a normal timetable is a very complex task' and it was too late for the full service to be reinstated for this Saturday.

But from Saturday, February 16, things will be back to normal.

David Brown, managing director at Northern, said: “We warmly welcome RMT’s decision to suspend its strike action and recommence talks about what the future role of the conductor looks like.

"We have been very clear in these discussions that there will be a conductor on all our trains now and into the future.

"We are looking forward to further positive talks with RMT about operational models moving ahead so that we can resolve their despite and bring it to an end.

"The suspension of the RMT strikes is good news for customers and businesses across the North."

The RMT union said talks with ACAS resulted in Northern offering a guarantee of a conductor on all trains, including the new fleet, for the duration of the current franchise.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “Firstly I want to pay tribute to RMT’s members on Northern Rail whose resilience and determination though two years and 47 days of action has been the foundation on which today’s major breakthrough has been based. They are an absolute credit to both this union and the wider movement.

“I also want to thank the travelling public for their extraordinary support and both Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram for their efforts that have been important in allowing us to break the deadlock today.

“Today’s offer of a guarantee of a conductor on all services throughout the duration of the franchise, including the new fleet, is the substantial progress we have been pushing for and has allowed RMT’s executive to take the decision to suspend the current action and allow for further talks to now take place with all stakeholders around the operational details.”